- John Green
Value-Added Product Packaging Attracts New Customers To Your Brand
Updated: 2 days ago
How do you influence a consumer’s perception of your products? It’s an important question to ask when you’re competing in a sea of me-too products on a retail shelf. Short of you being there to pitch your product, it falls to your product packaging to make the sale. And with everybody on the shelf competing for the consumer, how do you get their attention?
There are two things your product packaging must do:
1) Attract attention.
2) Persuade the consumer.
Everybody has heard the timeless phrase of better, more attractive product packaging results in more sales, and it’s certainly true. Getting a consumer to pick up your product is the first step in making the sale. Talented designers know this, and they have an intuitive feel for creating attractive product packaging. They mix colors, images, and text in just the right way to create packaging that attracts and stands out.
While I can’t define what makes packaging attractive, I know it when I see it, as do you. The basic rule in packaging design is less is more – keep your packaging design simple. Designs that have a pleasing blend of colors, with minimal text and graphics are generally more appealing to the eye. However, there are times where loud colored, busy packaging works – it really depends on what your audience is expecting.
This blog is not how to create attractive packaging, but more about how adding the right packaging flourishes to your product boxes can influence consumers to see your product the way you want them to.
You can’t talk about attracting attention and selling products without talking about product branding. Being a recognizable brand has to be at the top of the list. Consumers tend to gravitate towards brands they are familiar and comfortable with.
While brand awareness is no guarantee of sales, it certainly gives you an advantage. Consumers give branded products more consideration and are willing to spend more on branded products. One of your goals should be to create a strong brand, however that takes time.
More attractive packaging certainly helps, however if you’re not a known brand, then the only thing you can compete on is cost – and that’s not a good situation to be in. But you can imply desirable qualities about your product through your packaging.
I’ll be writing on the power of branding in a future blog.
So, now that your product packaging has gotten you in the door, it’s time to persuade.
Persuading the Consumer
How to create added value through your packaging is a bit easier to grasp; it’s using your printed box packaging to influence how consumers see your products. A very persuasive, low-cost marketing tactic designed to increase sales, it’s a bit of sleight of hand.
Custom box designers have a lot of options at their disposal to create truly stunning packaging, and they use it to good effect. Not only do they create printed packaging that is aesthetically pleasing, but they also appeal to our preconceived notions about what constitutes quality, luxury, elegance, exclusivity, opulence, and other attributes. They do this by implying these qualities using packaging embellishments, finishes, and clever messaging. The resulting packaging manipulates us by engaging our senses while pulling at our emotions.
This illusion works because we are so conditioned to equate expensive products with high-end packaging.
Because of this conditioning, we automatically assume what’s inside the box is more of a premium product. What’s more, we subliminally transfer the qualities inferred by the packaging to the product. Now, whether the product is worthy of all that is a different story.
Most of us have seen and held the soft black, or purple velvet packaging that comes when you purchase an expensive necklace. The velvety finish of the package doesn’t do anything for the necklace, but the packaging cues you that something expensive and extravagant is inside.
But what’s really going on. Black is a color traditionally associated with luxury products, as is a deep purple. And velvet is soft, warm, and just feels expensive. Taken together, the necklace’s packaging has the look and feel of a luxury item, and it simply reinforces what we already believe constitutes luxury.
The packaging has manipulated us into believing something of value resides inside. The product’s packaging does one more thing. It creates desire. We want what’s in that package, and desire is a powerful emotion that generates a lot of sales.
Adding Value to Your Product - How To Do It?
The best product packaging is one that resonates with your target audience. How your printed product box looks, the benefits you list and the message you send are key components of a winning design. Here’s how to layer your custom product boxes with the finishes and flourishes that helps attract and reinforce your message:
You want to create packaging that hints at luxury? Add a soft touch finish to your box – it has a soft, velvety feel that oozes luxury as you pick it up.
Want to add a touch of class? Consider a simple embossed image. It adds dimension, and it just looks high-end!
How about metallic or holographic foil? There’s nothing like it, and it certainly attracts attention. And used sparingly it adds a special elegance to packaging.
Spot UV Finishes? UV finishes dress up/dress down your packaging in so many ways! Gloss & matte finishes – put the UV right where you need it. It’s a low-cost way to quickly upgrade your printed product boxes.
Windows for product scents and fragrances? Engaging the sense of smell adds a completely new dimension to your custom product boxes. Consumers like to smell fragrant skincare products such as soaps. Packaging that lets scented fragrances waft out can be a very powerful sales incentive, especially if the fragrance or scent elicits fond memories.
In fact, as you layer different effects on your packaging, you’re sending implicit quality cues to your audience about your product. And it works! Consumers subconsciously transfer these qualities to your product. It is a subtle and effective way of increasing the value of your product.
Here are examples of how packaging persuades by implying product qualities:
Apple’s Product Packaging Strategy
We get more requests for “Apple style product packaging” than we do anything else.
Apple uses simple white product boxes with minimal text and subtle embossing, then complements the design with a lightly textured matte finish that transforms the look and feel of a plain paper box into something more refined and elegant.
There are no gaudy colors to distract; just a simple, austere beauty that stands out. And if you notice, this is exactly how consumers view Apple’s products – simple to use; elegant in design; high-quality; luxurious and sexy; in short, all attributes that result in a product that is highly-desired.
Of course, Apple is already a well-known and loved brand. The qualities implied by their packaging simply underscore what consumers already feel about the Apple brand.
The Cosmetic Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
In contrast to the austere beauty of Apple’s products, cosmetics companies have taken the value-added packaging concept to the extreme. No less beautiful, they take a bolder approach to their custom box packaging.
Cosmetic and beauty product boxes are adorned with special printing inks, metallic foils, exotic film laminates, soft touches, and UV finishes – anything to grab our attention, engage us, and create emotional connections.
Still implicit in their designs are the subtle cues about quality, luxury, exclusivity, and other attributes that appeal to their audience.
The secret is cosmetic product packaging typically costs much more than the product itself. Yes, the packaging is expensive; however, the resulting increase in sales and profits more than pays for the higher packaging costs.
Printed Product Boxes: The Canvas of Choice for Quality Product Packaging
While there are many packaging options to select from, no other product packaging medium gives you the ability to enhance and complement your designs like custom printed boxes do. From specialty inks to metallic and holographic foils, embossing, soft touches, film laminates and UV finishing coats, custom printed boxes give you a larger palette of decorating options to choose from than any other packaging solution.
Paper product boxes are a very eco-friendly, sustainable packaging solution. They give packaging designers large canvases to work with to shape just the right message that resonates with their audience.
With all these benefits it’s no surprise that custom printed boxes are the medium of choice when it comes to printing high-end product packaging.
One final note on using printed boxes for your product packaging. While there are a lot of packaging enhancements you can add to dress up your box packaging, simply adding a matte UV or soft touch coating is generally all you need. It’s very economical, and it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to upgrade your product packaging. If you'd like to find out about how product branding affects sales and consumer behavior click here.